On July 16, 1945, the world entered the Nuclear Age with the successful detonation of the first atomic bomb at Trinity Site in New Mexico. The nuclear test represented the culmination of an unprecedented collaboration between scientists and the military, forged by the nation's defense needs arising from World War II. Yet that event had a very humble beginning in an undeveloped, virtually abandoned, isolated ranching area in the Chihuahuan Desert, miles from the nearest town.
Trinity at 50 tells of the archaeological resources at Trinity Site on White Sands Missile Range - what came before the blast and what was required to test the most awesome device of the twentieth century. The locus of the test is now designated Trinity Site National Historic Landmark (LA 100,000). The site possesses several types of cultural resources - the facilities for the Trinity Test, the remains of five historic ranches operating in the area when it was evacuated for military purposes in 1942, and almost 50 prehistoric sites consisting of artifact scatters and hearths dating to Paleoindian, Archaic, and Mogollon occupation of the vicinity. In addition to describing the prehistoric and historic sites, Trinity at 50 addresses the preservation of these resources, several of which are on or potentially eligible for the National Register of Historic Places.
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